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Local housing inventory extremely low

One real estate agency says the region is down to less than one month's worth of inventory
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Waterloo Region is seeing a cold inventory right now.

Tony Johal from Tony Johal Real Estate Team said, "Right now, we are down to less than one month's worth of inventory. Meaning, if no more homes hit the market today, in three weeks, we will have no homes on the market."

Waterloo Region has become one of the target areas that many people are leaving the GTA for.

"People want to enjoy a better-enhanced quality of life. The truth is that our real estate still is expensive but, when you compare it to other parts of the GTA, Waterloo Region is still very affordable."

Earlier this month, the real estate board released stats indicating the average detached home is selling for over one million dollars. But Johal said, as of January 13, a townhouse in Kitchener sold for $1 million.

"That tells you the prices are just getting pushed up constantly daily because it is a cold inventory right now."

The biggest concern for those selling their homes is not knowing where to go next. Johal said people in the region are now moving further west to places like Woodstock, Ingersoll, and London. Some are even moving out of the province to the east coast.

"More people moved out east last year in one year than I have seen in 16 years in real estate combined," he said. "There is an enormous pressure with people moving to Nova Scotia ... New Brunswick. It's just a lot more affordable real estate."

As for market trends, Johal suspects it to be relatively the same as 2021. Last year, the market showed low inventory in the first three months of the new year. But Johal expects some relief in the springtime with more homes hitting the market.  

Johal shared that Waterloo Region is becoming an international demand, just like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. As a result, those choosing not to move into the primary capital markets look at Waterloo Region as the next option.

"Given our proximity to Toronto and our infrastructure with the LRT, local universities, highways to the border. We are going to see an upward trend, and people are going to continue putting Waterloo Region on top of their list."

Johal expects there will be some government interjection. For example, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) are talking about taxing homes for over a million dollars, adding that "it is a slippery slope."

"The biggest thing they are not tackling is if you have a shortage of anything, you make more of it. If there is a shortage of houses, make more. Don't make it more difficult for developers and builders to make more homes that absorb a lot of the existing demand. Changing the rules and regulations isn't going to make more homes," Johal said.

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